Image by CharlieBoy808 via Flickr
Kudos to both Chris and Brandon for starting this series off right. I guess it is high time I add in one of my own Tailgating Tales of a tailgate gone bad. When you do as much tailgating as I have over the years you are bound to have something go wrong. This particular incident happened December 4, 2005 at Qualcomm Stadium while tailgating prior to the Chargers/Raiders game.
This particular game I had chosen as my tailgating mate, Mike “the Beer Guy” to accompany me for a morning/afternoon of tailgating. Back in 2005 Qualcomm Stadium opened the gates to the parking at 8 am for games scheduled for a 1 pm kick-off. Mike and got there right as the gates opened, set up our tailgating gear and settled in for a long and enjoyable day of tailgating. Because we have done this a few times before, we know that the lines for the portable toilets at the Q can get quite long. Also, five hours of tailgating and consuming beer will make a guy have to visit the little boys room a few times. To combat the long lines we normally would bring a “relief receptacle” usually consisting of an empty gallon water jug of some sorts. Why am I sharing this? Because my failure to take advantage of this device’s availability plays a key role in the story.
Everything was going perfectly and we were having a great time tailgating. Then all of a sudden I felt a little uncomfortable from a small gurgling sensation in my lower stomache. Not to gross anyone out but I was going to need to hit the porta-potty soon because what was coming was not going to wait. Mike was busy talking with one of our tailgating neighbors when he saw me making a bee line towards the port-a-john line. He asks what am I doing and points to where the “relief receptacle” was being kept. I wave to him and say “don’t worry about it” in hopes of not attracting too much attention to myself.
As Murphy’s Law would have it, this had to happen about 90 minutes before kick-off. That means everyone is still tailgating and hardly anyone has left the parking lot to go in the stadium. That means the line for the porta-potty is going to be long. As you might have guessed, I arrive at the porta-potty line and I see the line is about 20 people deep. I do a quick head count and see more than half of those in line are women which translates into an even longer wait time. (Sorry ladies but you do take longer in the restroom than men.) What I have brewing will not wait the requisite 30 minutes to get to the front of the line by conventional methods. I had to get in the front of the line, but how? How do I do that without having a mutiny of 30 people all who have been waiting patiently their turn? I took out my wallet and knew I was going to have to pay my way to the front.
For whatever reason I had a $50 bill in my wallet. To this day I am not sure why I had such a odd sized bill in there but I did. I was not happy that I was going to use $50 to bribe my way to the front of the line but desperate times call for desperate measures. I had no other options because the game started in 90 minutes and the nearest change of clothes and a shower was at home a good 90 minute drive away. This was my only option and it needed to work.
I pull out the $50 bill and walk straight up to the guy who is next in line who appears to be in his mid-30’s. I offer him the $50 for his spot in line and explain discretely my desperate situation. It is not like my cutting in line is going to extend his wait time by more than 90 seconds. (I am trying not to be too gross or graphic here, people.) He won’t even look me in the eye and says with arms folded, “No way man. I have been standing here for a half-an-hour. Offer it to the kid behind me.”
I look to see who is behind him and lo and behold it is a kid who looks to be about 9 years-old. I say to the kid, “Look kid, the guy in front of you is a moron. He turned down 50 bucks to let me cut in line. I gotta go so bad I am going to ruin my pants. Will you take it so I can cut in front of you?” The kid must have seen the panic in my face and heard seriousness of the situation in my voice. He responds by saying, “It’s okay man, you can get in front of me.” Relieved I start to hand the kid the money but he doesn’t reach to to take it. His parents must have taught him some manners because when I urged him to take it he refused. That’s when those still in line watching the entire ordeal go down got involved. A chorus of, “Take the money kid!” and “He’s giving you 50 bucks, take the money!” rang out from down the line. Sheepishly the kid takes the bill from my hand and I step in front of him.
Needless to say, had the kid refused and I needed to go down the line to the third or fourth person and offer them a bribe, this story would have not have a happy ending. I was able to get in there just in time. Much to my embarrassment I was greeting to a roar of cheers from those remaining in line as I exited. As I made my way back to our parking space through the row of cars, I was met halfway by Mike. He asked me what happened and why I left so hastily. I told him, “I just paid a 9 year-old 50 bucks to cut in line because I had a juice deuce that was waiting for nobody”. Mike understood the gravity of the situation but questioned my decision to drop such a large bill on a kid. Explaining that was the only bill I had Mike said the kid would have probably taken $20.
So the moral of the story is this folks: Immodium can be a lifesaver at time if used prior to tailgating. Also, if a similar situation arises, stash some smaller bills for bribery to the front of the line of the porta-potty. If you have to go to the bigger bills because the situation calls for it, then break those out in an emergency. Looking back on it and considering the implications of not getting in there in time, it was probably the best $50 I ever spent.
If you have a funny tailgating story, make sure to email it to us and your story may end up on the pages of TailgatingIdeas.com as our latest edition of Tailgating Tales.